Former Celtic striker Moussa Dembélé is close to signing for Atletico Madrid, according to Marca.
The Spanish outlet have claimed that the ex-Celtic striker, now at Lyon, is set to be taken on loan by the Spanish giants. Marca are suggesting that the move will give Simeone’s side time to negotiate a permanent deal for the summer.
Yesterday, Dembélé’s team quashed rumours linking the Frenchman to West Ham United. With Champions League football on offer to the ex-Celt, Madrid is the best footballing option.
Atletico are said to be desperate to replace Diego Costa, with limited options at centre-forward. Marca suggest that Dembélé’s move “could be imminent”.
Atletico currently lead La Liga, with two games in hand on 2nd place city rivals Real Madrid (ESPN). The chance to win a Spanish top-flight title, as well as guaranteed European football (UEFA) mean that the Wanda Metropolitano is the irresistible choice here.
Ex-Celtic man Dembélé could thrive in Madrid
The Bhoys are entitled to 10% of any fee Lyon receive for the striker. While Marca are reporting that Dembélé will only move on loan for now, goalscoring form in Spain could drive up the striker’s fee.
Currently valued at €30m by Transfermarkt, Dembélé is yet to hit top-form this season. He’s only managed 1 goal in 16 appearances in 20-21, with Lyon manager Rudi Garcia preferring Memphis Depay.
Dembélé was an instant hit at Celtic Park, having scored a sublime hat-trick on his Glasgow Derby debut (BBC). He was a shrewd acquisiton by Brendan Rodgers, who brought him in for £500k from Fulham in 2016 (Daily Record).
The Frenchman scored 51 times in 94 games for the Bhoys. In France, he’s managed an equally impressive 45 goals in 108 games, while laying on 13 assists.
A modern complete forward, Dembélé can strike well with either foot, can hold up play, and is a threat in the air. He was vital in Lyon’s defeat of Manchester City during last season’s Champions League (UEFA).
Celtic will watch on with interest. Due 10% of any future fee, the Bhoys will most likely need to wait until the summer to count their profits from a Dembélé move.